Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Crossword Puzzle - October 2014

The puzzle last month was first solved by Denise Smith. Can she do it again?

In case this is your first time stumbling across the monthly crossword puzzle, here's a quick explanation of how it works. Each month, you can come here to find a crossword puzzle. Sometimes they're themed, sometimes they're not. Sometimes there's a prize, sometimes there isn't.

Print it out and solve it. Once you have the answers, e-mail them to graham@grahamdowns.co.za. The following month, you come back to the blog to find the answers. If you were the first person to e-mail me the correct answers before they're posted here, you will get a mention on this blog.

Make sense?

Well, no prizes this month. Good luck!

1 Southern African tribe (5)
4 Google range of devices (5)
7 Car by Ford (4)
8 Before (3)
9 Fresh (3)
10 Mike, US SF/F author (6)
13 Witch (3)
14 Edgar (3)
17 Drawing (6)
20 Leader of North Korea (d. 2011) (3)
22 Chinese cooking vessel (3)
24 B&N e-reader (4)
25 Means something other than it says (5)
26 Go Well (5)
2 One who doesn't complain (5)
3 For chopping wood (3)
4 Nothing (4)
5 For boiling water (3)
6 He tells the future (4)
7 Old American Empire (4)
11 Pig sound (4)
12 Senior manager (4)
15 Federal subject in Russia (4)
16 An Australian (4)
18 Test (4)
19 Alcoholic beverage (5)
21 Change to behaviour (3)
23 Nap (3)

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Crossword Puzzle - September 2014 Answers (Congratulations Denise Smith)

And we have a winner, ladies and gentleman! I'd like to congratulate Denise Smith, for being the first person to e-mail me with the correct answers. I posted the questions on 30 September 2014, and she came back to me with the answers one week later, on 6 October, 2014.

Denise is no stranger to my monthly crossword puzzles, but she missed the last few months. Welcome back, Denise! :-)

As promised, I asked Denise which one of my books she would like as a prize. She picked Heritage of Deceit, which I gifted to her on Smashwords. Denise, I hope you enjoyed the story, and I can't wait to hear what you thought.

So, without further ado, here are the answers for my September 2014 Crossword Puzzle:

1 Second letter of Greek alphabet (4) beta
3 Father Christmas' wobbles when he laughs (5) belly
8 Beer without hops (3) ale
9 Chinese religion, often the butt of puns (12) Confucianism
11 The king of the jungle (4) lion
12 One million million (8) trillion
14 What's coming to you (3) due
15 VI (3) six
16 Great, everygreen tree (3) oak
18 Not cold (3) hot
19 Breed of dog (8) Alsatian
22 Hayworth, actress (4) Rita
24 Stuffed steak dish (12) carpetbagger
26 Place in Guild Wars (3) Orr
27 Full of soap (5) sudsy
28 Overrule (4) veto
2 Boredom (5) ennui
3 Payments to help people out (8) bailouts
4 Author, Double Occupancy (6) Elaine
5 Ex-presenter of The Tonight Show (4) Leno
6 In agreement (3) yes
7 Eating feaces (4) scat
10 Places to stay in a fantasy world (4) inns
13 Worship of material things (8) idolatry
17 former American Idol contestant Brittany (4) Kerr
18 They're gonna hate (6) haters
20 Gold (5) ingots
21 Wears glasses, constantly picked on (4) nerd
23 Apple Music Player (4) iPod
25 Commercials (3) ads

Did you notice the #4 Down? Yup, the author of Double Occupancy is a self-published author called Elaine Raco Chase. She's part of a writers group I belong to on Facebook, and she's a really great lady. When I told her last month that I'd included her in my crossword puzzle for September, she was over the moon, and tweeted, telling all her followers about it:

That was such a good feeling, that I think I'm going to be including something about an independently published book or author in every month's crossword puzzle, from now on. What do you think of that idea?

Anyway, congratulations again to Denise Smith. See you next week, for my October puzzle.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Telepathic Link

To listen to this story on YouTube, click here

Here's a free story for you, all about a game show designed specifically for telepaths. It also happens to be my one hundredth post on this blog. Congratulations to me!

I hope you enjoy it!

Lightning in Zdolbuniv

Sebastian sat in the crowd, his mouth hanging open. Dumbstruck, he looked around at the other audience members. Most were clapping enthusiastically, and a few were whistling. Some were even on their feet, screaming at what was going on, on stage.

He looked down at the small arena in the centre of the studio. The quiz master, Karl Snopes, was turning on a small rotating pedestal, with ten contestants standing in a circle, at podiums, around him. He faced each contestant in turn, they looked at each other for about three seconds, and then the cheering erupted as he moved on to the next contestant.

Sebastian looked to his left. His date, Lisa, had a big smile on her face. She, like the others, was applauding. Occasionally she let out a hilarious laugh. He nudged her, then when she looked at him, he asked in a low whisper “What’s going on here?”

Lisa just stared at him for a few seconds. He continued to look at her, expectantly. Finally, she spoke. “What do you mean, Baz? And why are you using your voice? Are you okay?”

“What do you mean, ‘why are you using your voice’? How else would I speak?”

“With your mind, silly! Come on, you love this show,” exclaimed Lisa, “you thought me all about it at dinner last week. I couldn’t believe how happy you were when I thought you that I’d gotten tickets!”

“What's wrong with you, Lisa? Communicating with our minds? There's no such thing. If this is some weird way of you breaking up with me, it's really sick. I'm going home!”

As Sebastian stood up to leave, Lisa grabbed his arm. “It's not. I'm really worried about you. But okay, let's just go.”

Sebastian looked at her, exasperated. He shrugged and walked off, towing Lisa along by her arm.

The two walked through the winding passageways that led to the entrance door of the studio, not saying a word. Sebastian was incredulous. He couldn't believe what Lisa was telling him. He didn't want to be around her, but they were here in his car, and he couldn't very well let her walk home.

Closer to the exit, they began to hear thunder, and then the deafening sound of rain on the building's metal roof. Lisa shivered when they approached the door, and a cold wind assaulted them down the passageway.

“Wait here,” said Sebastian when they got to the door. “I'll bring the car around. No sense in us both getting wet.”


Lisa squeezed his arm affectionately and smiled. “You do still care,” she thought. Then she sighed as Sebastian walked out into the rain, giving no indication that he had heard her.

She watched Sebastian get closer to the car. The rain showed no sign of abating. In fact, it became more violent, as the wind howled and the thunder boomed. She saw flashes of lightening in the sky, getting closer together.

Just as Sebastian was approaching the car, and had removed his keys from his pocket, Lisa witnessed a blinding flash. A split second later, she heard a deafening clap, so loud that it made her cup the sides of her head with her hands.

When the ringing in her ears had stopped, she looked over and saw Sebastian lying on the ground. She panicked and ran towards him, and as she got closer she began to smell a faint burning spell. Realising what had happened, she began to run faster.

She dropped to her haunches when she reached him and started shaking him. “Oh please, Sebastian, please be all right!” she thought.

After a few moments of fervent shaking, Sebastian opened his eyes. Staring straight into hers, he thought, “Lisa? Lisa, I can hear you!”

Lisa hugged Sebastian closer to her chest, and kissed his head over and over, tears streaming down her face.

Image: IBy Lyoha123 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

It's Official: Billy's Zombie is going ahead

Isn't that cover just the coolest thing you've ever seen? Well, folks, it's official, Billy's Zombie will be released into the big, wide world on 30 October 2014. If you've not heard of it yet, or maybe you just forgot, here's a brief synopsis:

Young Billy MacIntyre has always been a weird kid, always taking every little slight to heart.

One day, he decides to exact his revenge on all those simpletons who have done him wrong. And he does it by taking a book of Necromancy out of the library, and raising a zombie from the dead!

Subscribed to my Newsletter?

If you were a subscriber to my free monthly newsletter on or before 30 September, you will have already received an invitation to get the special, "Newsletter Edition" of the book on 23 October 2014.

If that's you, then please check your e-mail (It was sent out on 30 September), and reply to me by no later than Friday, 17 October, to let me know in which format you'd like to receive it. You'll also be the only people to receive it with the cool cover above.

Not one of those lucky few? Well, you'll just have to wait until 30 October, when it releases to the general public, and you'll also only be able to get the regular cover.

All is not lost, however. You may have missed out on this particular special offer, but you can still subscribe at any time, to keep up to date with all the things I'm doing. Who knows? I may have more cool offers and surprises for you in an upcoming issue.

To sign up for my newsletter, just type your e-mail address into the box below:

On Goodreads?

Well then, I would love it if you would help me spread the word and create some buzz for the book, ahead of its release.

All you have to do is mark the book as "to-read". That way, all your friends will see that you've marked it, and they'll want to mark it, too!

If you're getting one of the "Newsletter Editions", then you can click here to go directly to that edition's Goodreads page.

Otherwise, just add the regular edition here.

Not on Goodreads, yet?

Well then, I have to ask you, why on earth not?

If you enjoy reading, and you enjoy social networking, then Goodreads is the perfect marriage of those two worlds.

You sign up, make friends, and tell Goodreads about all the books you've read and want to read. Not only do you see what all your friends are reading (and vice versa), but you get really cool recommendations from Goodreads itself about what to read next.

And their library of books is incredibly large—I personally have yet to not find a book that I've wanted to read, on Goodreads.

You'll get totally addicted to the platform. In fact, I know people who spend more time on Goodreads than Facebook!

So click here to visit the Goodreads homepage and sign-up. Once you've done that, click the links above to add Billy's Zombie to your "to-read" shelf (Just click the "Want to Read" button below the cover).

Also, don't forget to become a fan of me on the site. Click here to visit my Goodreads Author Page, and click "Become a Fan".

See you on Goodreads!